Medium-sized, large-headed, thickset dabbling duck with peaked forehead, mane on nape, unusually long inner secondaries, and straight bill. Male has purple-chestnut and bright green head and mane, white throat and foreneck crossed by green collar, grey body with profuse black crescents on breast, grey and black sickle-shaped secondaries covering black and yellow-buff stern, and pale grey forewing. Female in size and proportions most like female Gadwall, but easily distinguished by larger head, grey forewing, and green-and-black speculum. Females are dark brown, with plumage much like a female Mallard. Its long grey bill is an aid to identification. The eclipse male is like the female, but darker on the back and head. In flight both sexes show a pale grey underwing. The blackish speculum is bordered with a white bar on its inner edge. Young birds are buffer than the female and have short tertials.
Breeding grounds in cool, northerly, middle latitudes of eastern Asia within forest limits, chiefly in river basins and by large or small lakes, in both open and wooded terrain. In winter, also on coastline and on floodlands and rice fields, as well as lakes and rivers.
The Falcated Duck or Falcated Teal (Anas falcata) is found in eastern Asia, particularly in eastern Siberia and northern China. It is widely recorded well outside its normal range, but the popularity of this beautiful duck in captivity clouds their true origins. Winters are spent in much of southeast Asia. It is social outside the breeding season when it will form large flocks.
Eats aquatic plants, seeds, and roots, but also occasionally takes snails, insects, small fish and frogs. Generally a surface feeder or dabbler but will sometimes tip or upend to feed or, more rarely, may dive. Grazes on land on forbs and grasses, but infrequently. Prefers marshy areas, ponds, estuaries, quiet rivers, shallow, coastal bays.
This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 1,000,000-10,000,000 km2. It breeds over much of south-east Siberia, Russia, south to northern Mongolia, China, and Japan. It has a large global population estimated to be 35,000 individuals, with the majority of birds spending the non-breeding season in Japan (9,000), North Korea and South Korea (2,000), and China7. It also regularly winters in small numbers in Bangladesh, north-east India, Nepal (rare and irregular1), Taiwan, and northern Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam (very rare visitor6), with vagrants recorded from Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Canada, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Malta, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Turkey, and the Aleutian Islands of the United States5. Escapes from waterfowl collections mask the extent of vagrancy to western Europe. The species appears to be declining in southern China, remaining common only in Dongting Hu, Hunan Province3. Of 14,763 individual counted in a 2005 survey of China, 13,605 were in Hunan Province, and 970 in Hubei Province2. Populations in Japan and Korea appear to have remained stable or declined only slightly3. It also appears to have become less frequent in Nepal1. [conservation status from birdlife.org]
Falcated Duck Male: Six to ten creamy white eggs are laid in nest built in ground, near water, under cover of tall, dense vegetation. Nest typically made of grasses and forbs and lined with down. Hen incubates eggs for about 26 days, sometimes assisted by male.
Winters in eastern Asia (China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam) and scattered localities W to NE India. Vagrants occasional occur further W (to Iran, Jordan and Turkey) and also E (Aleutian Is), but wealth of observations in Europe and N America presumed to refer to escapes.
- spanwidth min.: 80 cm
- spanwidth max.: 88 cm
- size min.: 48 cm
- size max.: 54 cm
- incubation min.: 23 days
- incubation max.: 24 days
- fledging min.: 0 days
- fledging max.: 0 days
- broods 1
- eggs min.: 6
- eggs max.: 9
- Conservation Status